Tag Archives: The Arctic Incident

The Artemis Fowl Files (2004) – Eoin Colfer

I’ve owned The Artemis Fowl Files for several years, probably since it was first released back in 2004. Imagine my surprise when I picked it up and started reading…only to realize that I had never read it before. What a great, new experience!

“LEPrecon”

The first section of The Artemis Fowl Files is a short story titled “LEPrecon”. It tells us the story of how Holly was first initiated into Recon, which turned out to be quite an entertaining read. We are introduced to a character that we wouldn’t normally meet until later in the series, which is interesting (though I don’t remember how he’s introduced later, so the continuity might not quite line up).

Colfer sticks with his formula of communicating an important message to his readers, and this one has to do with doing what you’re told versus doing what is right. Not much else to say about that, but it’s definitely another good lesson to learn.

“LEPrecon” is short, but I enjoyed it a lot.

Rating: 4 (out of 5)

Additional Material

There’s not really much to talk about in the large middle section of the book. There is a diagram of how the LEP use magma flares to ride pods to the surface that’s kinda cool, and there’s a couple of equipment diagrams and “interviews” with the main characters and with the author. None of that is too important, though; the real treat is the Gnommish decoder. In case you’ve never picked up an Artemis Fowl book before, you may not know why you’d need a Gnommish decoder. What Colfer does is provides a code in “Gnommish” along the bottom of most of the books in the series. These codes tell stories or convey secret messages and whatnot, and it’s the first real code to be provided to the readers; previously, you’d have to compare symbols and letters with a translation of a passage written in Gnommish in the first book of the series. Quite a handy tool for those who are interested.

Though the decoder is nifty and the other stuff is mildly interesting, nothing in this section is necessary. I personally would have preferred another short story or something like that. Oh, well – beggars can’t be choosers.

Rating: 2.5 (out of 5)

“The Seventh Dwarf”

The book ends with another short story titled “The Seventh Dwarf”. Despite being a decent read, I had one main issue with it. It takes place between the events of the first and second books, but it almost seems to ignore the second one. The story has appearances from all of the main characters, which is the problem: none of these characters were supposed to interact with each other in between these two books. In The Arctic Incident, Holly talks about “the last time she saw Artemis” and stuff like that. While Colfer did a good job with making sure that Mulch was still considered dead by the People, though.

An entertaining read, but it doesn’t feel “canon” – I think that’s the proper word here.

Rating: 3.5 (out of 5)

Overall

It doesn’t contain much to justify the title The Artemis Fowl Files, but it’s worth the purchase for the short stories alone, especially “LEPrecon”.

Rating: 3.5 (out of 5)

-Chad


Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident (2002) – Eoin Colfer

What’s so great about Eoin Colfer’s second book in the Artemis Fowl series is that we really start to see that Artemis has a side of him that isn’t criminal and another that is just a teenage boy who misses his father; in other words, he’s a human character that we can relate to, something that wasn’t as prominent in the first book, and it adds a whole new twist on Artemis’ relationships with Butler and the People, particularly Holly. Artemis was definitely the enemy of the People in the first book, but now they turn to him for help (after accusing him of supplying weapons to goblins, of course, but who could blame them?).

The messages of being “green” and protecting the environment and non-violence that was introduced in the first book continues into this one, though it’s given through a new topic this time around: radiation. More particularly, nuclear warfare, though it’s never explicitly stated. Without giving away any details, the plot of The Arctic Incident brings the characters to Russia, where radiation is abundant. Holly and Commander Root in particular have to be careful because they more susceptible to radiation poisoning and would be dead within minutes of exposure. Colfer’s message is clear: nuclear war, and violence itself, is unnecessary and deadly. A good message to be telling kids.

This second book in the Artemis Fowl series lives up to the first one in every way. We see Artemis applying his genius in real-time in a situation that doesn’t involve kidnapping and ransom – at least, not a situation when he’s the kidnapper. We see his relationships with others change, and we see that there’s a different life in store for him that we haven’t seen yet: a life where he has both parents and in which his relationship with the People is not one of malice but of friendship. Though it looks like Artemis and Holly have said goodbye forever, you never know what Artemis might have up his sleeve next. (also, we already know that there’s six more books…so yeah, there’s that)

Rating: 4.5 (out of 5)

-Chad

P.S. – Read my review of the graphic novel adaptation of this book here!


Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident – The Graphic Novel (2009) – Colfer/Donkin/Rigano/Lamanna

Like the first one, the graphic novel for The Arctic Incident is a visual treat that is a very faithful adaptation of the source material. In fact, both graphic novels largely feature direct quotes from the books on which they were based, which is both a blessing and a curse. Oftentimes, the direct quotes are words by the author that were not actually spoken by the characters, but are rather given from the outside. Using quotes like this in the graphic novel usually requires attributing them to the characters on hand, which often comes across as awkward and unnecessary.

I also feel like the potential of the graphic novel format was wasted. Yes, I’m glad that they were faithful and that they looked great, but why would you only adapt it? Why not give it something new that you wouldn’t get from the book – aside from pictures, of course. There were a couple of instances in The Arctic Incident‘s graphic novel where you get pages that are intended to be background information, but even these are sometimes direct copies from the book. I don’t think it’s too much to ask to maybe sneak in background information in the same manner that wasn’t in the book. Give us something new to chew on.

However, one thing that I really do enjoy about the graphic novels is that it gives me a chance to clear up some things if I had trouble visualizing something from the book on my own. Since Colfer was directly involved with the creation of the graphic novel, it’s safe to say that, for the most part, what we’re seeing is how he initially envisioned the characters he created, as well as the situations he put those characters in.

Despite its flaws, The Arctic Incident: The Graphic Novel is very good – an excellent companion to its book counterpart. If you choose to read only one, read the book.

Rating: 3.5 (out of 5)

-Chad

P.S. – Read my review of the original book that this graphic novel is based on here!